After five seasons, Breaking Bad finally came to a highly-anticipated end on Sunday. After months of hiding out in New Hampshire, slowly becoming sicker, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) returns to New Mexico for some unfinished business.
Walt’s first stop is to Gretchen and Elliot Schwartz, who he had just seen on television saying he contributed nothing but the name to the company they founded together years before. In a classic Walter White move, the all-star manipulator blackmails his old friends into “making it right,” by giving them more than $9 million dollars to put in a trust for his son, Walt Jr’s., 18th birthday. He explains that the money cannot come directly from him, not only because the government wouldn’t allow it, but because his son simply would not take it from his criminal father.
In order to keep Gretchen and Elliot quiet and ensure they do as he asks, Walt threatens them by admitting that he hired a hit-man for $200,000 to keep tabs on the couple — all this while the laser from said hit-man’s gun lands on their chests. In the end, it turns out the pointers were harmless laser beams shined by Jesse Pinkman’s (Aaron Paul) old pals Badger and Skinny Pete.
Speaking of Jesse, he’s still being held captive by Todd, Uncle Jack and the Nazis, chained by shackles at his hands and feet and being forced to cook meth for them. Before Walt’s final confrontation with his original partner, though, he has a few more stops to make.
First, is to his wife, Skylar. Without knowing that Walt has already managed his way into Skylar’s dismal apartment, her sister, Marie, calls, frantically warning the chain-smoking mom that her estranged husband is back in town. Although Skylar plays along with Marie’s call, which ends as sort of a truce between the sisters, she still gives Walt the five minutes of his time that she promised. Despite the entire series surrounding the idea that Walt’s actions were all for the sake of his family, he admits to Skylar that, really, he was doing it all for himself — cooking meth is what made him feel alive. He also gives her the coordinates to where Hank and Gomez are buried, and tells her to use them in exchange for immunity from the police. In a quick moment of humanity, Skylar lets Walt spend a minute with their daughter, and he gets one last glimpse of Junior walking home from school.
Now it’s time for Mr. White-turned-Heisenberg to deal with Lydia, Todd and the Nazis. He tries to convince Lydia and Todd that he’s created a new way to cook meth without methylamine, and after denying his help, we see Lydia ominously stirring sugar into her herbal tea. Later, it’s confirmed that Walt used the ricin to poison the head of the meth operation, and he’s on to deal with Todd and his gang.
Walt heads to see Jack and the Nazis, where he, again, shares his new cooking method. The gang wants nothing to do with Walt, though, and instead, a gun is pressed to his head. Before the trigger is pulled, Walt demands that the Nazis give him what he’s owed — Jesse Pinkman’s murder. He gets Jack to bring Jesse into the room by insinuating that the pair are “partners,” a statement which offends Jack, considering he’s clearly the leader in their arrangement. When a chained up Jesse is brought into the room, Walt hits the button on his car keys to pop the trunk, which unleashes a downpour of gunshots, from a contraption he previously set up, straight into the room.
Walt dives on top of Jesse to save him, and in return, takes a bullet to the stomach. In the end, only Walt, Jesse, Todd and Jack are alive. Jesse takes care of Todd quickly, strangling his captor with the chains of his handcuffs, while Walt shoots a pleading Jack spot-on. Afterwards, Walt offers the gun to Jesse, telling him, “I want this,” to which his former student replies, “Then do it yourself,” dropping the gun and speeding away to his freedom.
After one last walk-through the meth lab, the episode closes with Walt lying on the floor, dead from the bullet wound to his stomach, with police lights coming in from the background. In the end, Walt died, but not after making everything as right as he could for the important people in his life, which turned out to include Jesse.